Find products

Use our product finder to search for products and materials

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news about events and exhibitions, innovation and materials on the latest building product innovations, case studies and more.
I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of usage and The Building Centre's Privacy Policy.

Design Competition: Conversations about Climate Change

Design Competition
Mon 24 Aug 2020

The design competition sets architects, designers, and craftspeople the challenge of creating ‘climate change conversation pieces’ from responsibly sourced tropical timber.

What to create?

Your proposal can be a piece of furniture, a sculpture, a functional product or a model of a larger proposition. 

The designs should stimulate conversation about the climate crisis and the role of material provenance in the climate debate.

The designs should also reveal the aesthetic qualities of the palette of tropical hardwoods species selected for the competition. See the tropical hardwoods selection.

The form and size of the design objects are completely up to the designer, as long as they do not exceed a 2m2 x 3m high.

Where will the work be shown?

All entrants will have their designs exhibited in an online gallery. However, only six winners will be chosen for their designs to be made and exhibited at the Building Centre from 19 November 2020

All the winners will be provided with sustainably sourced FLEGT tropical hardwood, a maker’s bursary of £1000, and matched-up with workshops where their designs will be developed and made for the exhibition.

Who are the judges?

– Adam Brinkworth of Brinkworth

– Yinka Ilori of Yinka Ilori Studio

– Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield

– Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects

– Leah Riley Brown, sustainability advisor at the British Retail Consortium

– Vanessa Norwood, creative director of the Building Centre

– David Hopkins, director of the Timber Trade Federation

How do I enter?

To enter please fill out the submission form. Please make sure you have read through the resources below before submitting.



We will need:

  • Your name
  • Contact details
  • An upload of your design with up to 250-word explanation of how it responds to the materials selected form the species fact sheets below and what conversation it encourages (pdf, jpeg or word doc)


Key Dates

The competition opens on 1 June and closes on 24 August 2020.

The six winners will be announced at the beginning of September.

The exhibition opens on 5 November 2020

Why is this competition important?

The competition is a collaboration between the Building Centre and the Timber Trade Federation to raise awareness of the importance of tropical forests in the climate debate and the role of the EU's FLEGT Action Plan to combat illegal logging.

Responsibly forested timber is an essential solution to the emission reduction needed for mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Timber is a low carbon material, with forests acting as the ‘lungs of the earth’ extracting CO2, regulating the earth’s temperature, and providing biodiverse ecosystems. However, tropical forests have often been undervalued and cleared for agricultural development, rather than sustainable forest management.

Conversations about Climate Change asks designers to respond to this material, encourages them to think about the materials they usually work with and to consider how their role as a specifier is vital for implementing change. 

Important resources to inform your design

Summary competition guidelines


Fact sheets of tropical hardwood species selected:

Dark Red Meranti








Obeche / Ayous




A full list of tropical hardwood species is also available here. We invite all candidates to review these documents to help select timber for their competition entries.

For any clarification of available species please email


Information on FLEGT


Read our Responsible Purchasing Policy The six competition winners will be provided sustainably sourced tropical hardwoods sourced from VPA countries through the Timber Trade Federation’s members to ensure the use of sustainably sourced timber. 



Conversations about Climate Change is a partnership between the Building Centre and the Timber Trade FederationSupported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.



Headline sponsors

Supported by

Keep exploring